Some advantages of powerdot (was Re: [OS X TeX] powerdot and pdftex)

Luis Sequeira lsequeir at
Wed Sep 21 06:30:57 EDT 2005

>On 9/20/05, Luis Sequeira <lsequeir at> wrote:
>>  By the way, I am very pleased with powerdot. Having used prosper for
>>  a long time, I was an instant convert. I think this is "a much better
>>  prosper" and it is worth a look for anyone doing presentations.
>Before switched to Keynote last month, I had been using prosper for 2
>years or so. I have never heard of powerdot until this thread. Can you
>comment how powerdot is much better than prosper?
>A few screenshots would be greatly appreciated. (I already read
>powerdot doc, but there's no screenshots inside.)

I can think of several aspects in which powerdot is much better than 
prosper (and probably could find more):

1. Eliminated the \overlays{n}{...} command; just use \begin{slide} \end{slide}
and powerdot is clever to know how many overlays you are actually using.
So many times I forgot to adjust the number of overlays and then some 
of the material would not appear  (for example if you had, say, 
\overlays{7} and then added more stuff to the slide).

2. Added the \pause command: most presentations just consist of 
material that appears
stepwise on the screen; with powerdot this can be trivially achieved as
  some stuff \pause some more stuff \pause yet more stuff
(no need to keep track of the numbering of overlays, so you add 
intermediate stuff and not have to renumber everything that comes 
  some stuff \pause intermediate stuff \pause some more stuff \pause 
yet more stuff

3. Sanitizes the lot of \fromSlide, \untilSlide. Just use \onslide as
   \onslide{n-}{stuff}  (instead of \fromSlide{n}{stuff})
   \onslide{-n} {stuff}  (instead of \untilSlide{n}{stuff})
   \onslide{n-m} (instead of cumbersome \fromSlide{n}{\untilSlide{m}{stuff}})
(also, \onslide allows for more functionality, such as 

4. Introduces templates, so that you can get much finer control of 
the appearance (whereas in prosper you might have to take a style and 
change it by hand if you wanted to change some of the behaviour).

5. Much finer control is possible with the itemize and enumerate 
environments than was with prosper's itemstep environment

6. EXCELLENT support for handouts! Just change an option in the 
\documentclass and you get handouts for your audience or your 
students from the same source of your presentation. You can also 
include notes with the slides, if you wish.
You can save lots of paper because slides with less content use less 
space on paper.
This one alone would have me switch from prosper to powerdot :-)

7. Clickable table of contents on the left side of slides, if desired.

Luis Sequeira

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